Ocean Builders will not be progressing with making the former P&O cruise ship, the Pacific Dawn, the first Cryptoship in history. The vessel, which was renamed Satoshi earlier, has been sold for scrap and will end up a sad piece of cruise history on the beach in Alang, India.
The original idea was for Satoshi to become a floating city, where people can buy or rent long term a cabin by using cryptocurrency. All onboard facilities would accept Bitcoin as a payment method, thus making every transaction on board untraceable.
Ocean Builders CEO Grant Romundt cited issues with receiving insurance for the vessel, which turned out to be the end of the line for the dream. Romundt said:
“Assuming it would be easy to get insurance to use the ship as a stationary residential cruise ship was incorrect.”
Since November this year, cabins have been on sale, while the company added the option to rent cabins last week before pulling the plug this weekend. What will happen to those that had already purchased cabins is not clear, although Oceanbuilders has promised refunds for those that had purchased cabins.
Former Largest Cruise Ship In The World To Be Scrapped
Satoshi has had an eventful history, with many people calling the former Princess and P&O vessel an all-time favorite.
Built by Fincantieri, the 70,285 GT Satoshi started life in 1991 as the Regal Princess and was the largest cruise liner in the world for a short period after her launch. She was also one of the most expensive cruise ships built at the time. Regal Princess cost US$276.8 million to build.
- Regal Princess (1991–2007)
- Pacific Dawn (2007–2020)
- Satoshi (2020–2020)
- Princess Cruises (1992–2003)
- Carnival Corporation (2003–2020)
- Ocean Builders (2020–2020)
While the vessel could carry 2020 guests on board, it seems this number has also been an unlucky one for her. Like many other ships this year, joining a line of vessels at the shipbreakers in Alang, India. Ironically joining sister ship Crown Princess, renamed Karnika, at the same breakers. Karnika was beached at the yard in November this year.
Related: Which Cruise Ships are Being Scrapped or Sold Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
A Project More Hopeful Then Well- Planned
When P&O Australia retired the vessel earlier this year, the news that Satoshi would be converted into a floating village in international waters came as a surprise to many. It also received widespread criticism and was labeled a naive Utopian idea that was doomed to fail.
Ocean Builders, the company behind the idea, had begun selling cabins in November for what it labeled a technological innovation that would enable entrepreneurs, inventors, and crypto companies to do business from a ship in international waters.
The company sent out a statement to potential investors, blaming big companies for not seeing the potential benefits, CEO Grant Romundt:
“After an exhaustive search for an International Group P&I Club insurance group to insure the Satoshi we have hit the roadblock of having no insurance company willing to insure the MS Satoshi upon dropping anchor in the Gulf of Panama,”
“The closest we came was a company toying with us with a million dollar premium for a maximum of $5 million in coverage. Nothing close to the coverage we would need to be legally compliant. We did not foresee that the big boys club would be against such a small operation such as ours.”
In the statement, which reads more like a rant, the company also blames the seagoing community and Cryptocurrency community for not supporting the idea from the start but instead attacking the idea. Why the company had set out on a project on this magnitude without insurance assurances beforehand is unclear.
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Whatever the reason is for Satoshi’s downfall as a Bitcoin ship, it is a sad sight to see yet another vessel go towards the scrapyard. Especially a beautifully designed vessel like her.
Main Rendering Credit: Ocean Builders